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Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The SIMS

A co-worker of mine is obsessed with the video game The SIMS. She plays this game for hours at a time while ignoring the other responsibilities in her life. She is fairly addicted to it. Apparentely, the game is a simulation of life. You have to build neighborhoods, acquire friends, get your characters in shape, etc. It reminds me a bit of the Tamagachi virtual pets that were popular with kids a few years ago. I have never played the game, so I don't know much about it. A few of us were talking the other day and someone asked her what the point of the game is. She tells us, "to get to the highest level in your character's career." Oh. Now this was something that I found quite interesting. The game is about life. Your characters have to eat, sleep, exercise, build friendships, and apparentely, the point of all of it is to reach the highest level in your career. Now I know that I live in America, where money rules and people work so hard to provide luxury for their family that they end up not getting to ever see their family. But I found it extremely sad that a game that supposedly imitates life finds the highest goal, and the ultimate reward, to be a successful career. What about family? Why do people work so hard? Getting to the top of the corporate ladder seems to be an empty accomplishment if quality time with the people you love is the expense paid for it. I was talking to a guy last night. I was extremely impressed with him. He is a single guy, and everything he has done for the past few years, his choice in jobs, housing, purchases, have been so that when he does have a family, it will be the best for them. That, I believe, is having your priorities straight. What is a career worth if at the end of the day you come to an empty house, a family that doesn't know you, or children whose goal in life is to have the newest car? I would much rather sacrifice a huge house for a family that I get the opportunity to spend time with. If a career is the end in and of itself, what is it really worth? Does it make someone a better person to be CEO? I think I will stick to playing solitaire.

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